Grapes are not afraid of frost: the concept of frost resistance and the features of growing such varieties
Grapes are inherently heat-loving culture, comes from countries with a favorable climate. However, amateur winegrowers want to grow sunny berry even in the midland of Russia, in the Urals, Siberia and the Far East. For this, grape varieties with increased resistance to frost are bred. Getting generous sweet berry crops in harsh conditions is not difficult, but it’s useful to know the intricacies of growing and caring for grapes.
The concept of frost resistance of grape varieties
In viticulture guides, the definition of frost resistance of a variety is given. Frost resistance of grapes is the ability of its vegetative system in the winter period to withstand the temperature drop for a short time to the values indicated in the characteristics of the variety, without damage or with minimal damage to the eyes of an annual shoot. In short - this is the resistance of the variety to critical negative temperatures. This means that at a certain low temperature those parts of the plant that subsequently determine the fruiting and crop yield do not die. With a sharp strong decrease in air temperature in winter, the buds (eyes) of the vine first freeze out, then the bark and cambium of the wood of the plant are damaged. This applies primarily to young seedlings of one and two years of age. Such a characteristic as frost resistance is determined experimentally for each grape variety. The degree of frost resistance is derived based on the results of long-term observations of the development of plants in the conditions of the experimental station. This indicator is a nominal (standard) value. In real conditions, sometimes significantly different from favorable, frost resistance of grapes is lower than stated.
Table: grouping of grape varieties by degree of frost resistance
|Group number||Frost resistance|
|Absolute minimum temperature|
for an obscure culture,
|2||Slightly frost resistant||-19–20||-17|
|4||Relatively frost resistant||-23-24||-21|
|5||Increased frost resistance||-25–27||-23|
At critical negative temperatures, freezing up to 50% of the fruit buds (eyes) is possible. Further lowering the temperature increases this figure to 80%. Damage by frost to annual seedlings, in which not only generative buds, but also wood freeze, causes the death of the entire bush. The index of frost resistance of a variety is of fundamental importance when growing grapes in a non-covering culture. As a rule, these are high-stem formations in the form of altanas, high hedges, arches and arbors, where the sleeves of grapes are not removed from the supports, but winter in the open.
In contrast to frost resistance (resistance of fruiting plants to critical negative temperatures), winter hardiness characterizes their resistance to the sum of unfavorable factors (including low temperatures) in winter. As a rule, most fruit crops exhibiting high frost resistance are also highly winter resistant.Yu.V. Trunov, professor, doctor S.-kh. of sciences
"Fruit growing." LLC Publishing House KolosS, Moscow, 2012
Features of growing frost-resistant varieties
The success of growing grapes in certain climatic conditions critically depends on the temperature regime of this region. It is known that the need for the amount of heat and sunny days for different grape varieties is significantly different. Low negative temperatures sharply limit the use of varieties that are particularly demanding of heat. If the vine bushes are damaged by severe frosts, their mass death occurs. The highest degree of frost resistance is manifested in plants during deep winter dormancy. When moving from organic dormancy to forced dormancy at the end of winter, and then to the beginning of the growing season, frost resistance of grapes decreases. Return spring frosts affect flower-sensitive flower buds. The minimum likelihood of damage to grapes by frost is during the blooming of buds and flowering. The most resistant to frost is the vine. Unlike flowering buds and roots of grapes, it is able to withstand even twenty-degree frosts. If, as a result of very severe cold weather, the vine is frozen, in the spring new replacement shoots grow from sleeping buds and the bush is restored during one growing season.
Video: grape selection - tips for beginner growers
Caring for grapes of frost-resistant varieties is basically the same as caring for ordinary varieties. It consists in loosening the soil directly under the bushes and in the aisles, regular watering, the destruction of weeds, the correct formation and timely pruning of bushes, and the prevention of fungal diseases. In this case, the choice of the variety that is most suitable for specific climatic conditions, the time and place of planting of grape seedlings is of decisive importance. In winter-growing cover-grape growing areas, grapes must be covered with suitable materials, which provides protection against frost damage and sudden winter thaws. Saplings of frost-resistant grapes up to four years of age are subject to obligatory shelter for the winter, regardless of the covering variety or non-covering.
Video: snow shelter of vineyards
Despite the fact that frost-resistant varieties can tolerate severe frosts, they require some preparation for the winter. The grapes removed from the trellis should be laid on the ground, and preferably on boards, roofing felt or wooden boards. Then the sleeves and vines are crushed with coniferous spruce branches, pieces of polystyrene foam, linoleum and covered with agrofibre folded in several layers, and on top with a film to protect it from moisture. Under a snowdrift, a grape sheltered in this way safely wintered even in severe frosts and icing. It was experimentally established that 10 cm of the height of a snowdrift keeps the grapes ten degrees of positive temperature.
Usually around the end of October, I take my grapes off the trellis, cut them, always leaving 3-4 large vines, and each one has 1 knot of substitution and 1 fruiting vine. I remove the weak and crooked shoots coming from the root, and cut off the shoots that have proclaimed in the current year also to the fruiting vine, without leaving a hemp. Old and clumsy shoots, with cracked bark, coming from the root, cut out at the base. After I cut the whole grape, I lay it on the ground, pressing the vines with sticks so that they do not spring. So he waits until spring.O. Strogova, experienced gardener, Samara
Household Management Magazine, No. 6, June 2012
Fruits only on the growth of the current year, annual stems matured - vines. Therefore, annual shoots are the basis of the crop. In the early spring, seedlings of the second year must be pruned so that the skeletal branches of the bush begin to form. Starting from the age of three, in the spring, grape shoots opened after winter are tied to pre-prepared supports - trellises. The grape bushes of the covering varieties are cut in two stages: in autumn - before the shelters of the bushes before frost and in the spring - after the bushes open until the buds open and the vegetation begins. When pruning, leave so many eyes (future fruitful shoots) that provide a high yield without reducing the strength of the bush. The number of eyes remaining after trimming is called the load of the bush.
Video: pruning a young vine bush
Pruning grapes of non-covering varieties has its own characteristics: the bushes are pruned mainly in the autumn-winter period, two to three weeks after the leaves fall, and continue throughout the winter at zero or positive (+ 3-5 ° C) temperatures until the buds open. Sleeves of non-covering varieties are fixed on arches, arbors, walls of buildings.
Early frost-resistant grape varieties
In the southern regions, grapes can ripen without loss until mid-autumn. When growing this crop in areas with a sufficiently short warm period and the possibility of the onset of early autumn frosts, the time from flowering to full ripening of the crop should be minimized. Therefore, varieties zoned for the Central, North-Western and Ural regions have a short growing season, increased frost resistance and are considered to be early and early. These grapes include Krasa Severa grapes, Muromets, Timur, Agat Donskoy, Talisman, Kodryanka and several others.
Table: early frost-resistant grapes
Central Black Earth
|Dark violet, 2.5-4 g||Sweet, simple, sweet,|
|-23ºС||Susceptible to oidium and mildew, resistant to gray rot|
Central Black Earth
|White with an amber hue,|
|Sweet, slightly tart, with a nutmeg aroma||-25ºС||Resistant to mildew, gray rot|
|Beauty of the North|
|Central Black Earth, Belarus, Ukraine||Very early|
|White with a pinkish tint,|
|Sweet and sour, pleasant refreshing||-25–26ºС||Susceptible to oidium and mildew, resistant to gray rot|
|Codryanka||Lower Volga, Ural,|
North Caucasian, Belarus
400-600 g (can be up to 1.5 kg)
|Dark purple with a wax coating|
|-23ºС||Comprehensive resistance to major diseases|
|Muromets||Lower Volga, Ural,|
North Caucasian, Ukraine
up to 400 g
|Dark purple with a bluish tint|
|-25–26ºС||Susceptible to oidium, resistant to mildew|
Central Black Earth
400-600 g (can be up to 1.0-1.5 kg)
|Light golden, translucent,|
|Sweet, juicy, with a slight musky flavor||-25ºС||High resistance to fungal diseases and gray rot|
|Dark blue with a wax coating|
|Pleasant, simple, sweet, odorless||-26ºС||High resistance to mildew and gray rot|
Central Black Earth
|White with an amber hue,|
with a wax coating
|Harmonious sweet and sour, with a nutmeg aroma||-25ºС||High resistance to fungal diseases and gray rot|
Most early varieties are characterized by:
- high productivity of bushes;
- good taste of fruits;
- self-pollination (due to bisexual flowers);
- full maturation of the vine;
- universality of use (fresh and in juices, drinks, wines).
Grapes of the Talisman variety have flowers of the same type (female), therefore, for pollination, it needs the corresponding pollinating varieties.
Photo gallery: features of different varieties of early grapes
- Krasa Severa grapes have a very early ripening period and are known as medicinal due to the high content of folic acid (vitamin B9)
- Variety Cosmonaut is susceptible to mildew and oidium, fungicide treatment is required
- This grape stands out for its exquisite sweet taste with a touch of astringency and a nutmeg
- Thanks to large clusters, the Kodryanka variety belongs to the highest-yielding
- Unlike most early varieties, Talisman grapes have functionally female type flowers and need additional pollination with other varieties.
- When growing this variety in the North Caucasus and Lower Volga regions, protective shelter for the winter is not required
Despite the great similarity in characteristics, early varieties have a number of differences. For example, the high content of folic acid in berries brought the Krasa Severa grape medicinal glory. Grapes also differ in their resistance to fungal diseases and the need for protection in winter. Varieties with susceptibility to mildew or oidium must be treated with fungicidal preparations during the growing season. The timing and frequency of processing depends on the particular grape variety.
Given the relatively high degree of frost resistance, in areas south of the Central Black Earth Zone, grapes can be grown in non-covering culture. However, in the case of snowy winters or very severe frosts, the bushes need shelter to avoid freezing of flower buds and wood. This is especially true for young plants in which the thickness of the tree cover of the vines and sleeves is insufficient.
Video: early varieties for the Moscow region and the Northwest region
Grape varieties of increased frost resistance
Thanks to the active breeding work, the zone of growing frost-resistant grapes has expanded significantly towards the northern regions, and now the border of its cultivation runs along the Smolensk-Tver-Ivanovo-Kazan-Ufa line. The most frost-resistant varieties are Northern Early, Platovsky, Crystal, Zilga, Korinka Russian, Memory of Dombkovskaya. The grapes of these varieties withstand frost from -28 ° C to -32 ° C. However, it should be borne in mind that when grown in more northern areas, bushes require good shelter for the winter. In areas with mild winters, in the absence of sharp temperature fluctuations during the winter, grapes can not be covered or a very light shelter can be made.
Grapes The memory of Dombkowska is recommended for cultivation in home gardens as a high-yielding table variety with berries of wonderful harmonious taste, collected in large beautiful clusters weighing up to 370 g
The table variety Pamyat Dombkovskoy belongs to the gut (seedless) group. Grapes are very early ripening, the growing season is 110–115 days. The bushes are vigorous, have bisexual flowers and are pollinated independently. Productivity is very high, an average of 8.5–9 kg / bush. In the varietal characteristic, frost resistance is declared up to minus twenty-eight degrees, however, it is recommended to shelter grapes for the winter. Increased resistance to diseases and pests is one of the main advantages of the variety. The disadvantages include periodic overloading of bushes in clusters. This causes shredding of the berries and a decrease in their juiciness. All of these qualities allow you to grow grapes Pamyat Dombkovskoy throughout Russia.Recent entries In April, I process roses so that no pests encroach on my beauties
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Grape variety Platovsky is known primarily for its unpretentiousness in cultivation and gives consistently good yields even in adverse weather conditions.
The main characteristics of the Platovsky grape variety:
- It is mainly grown as a technical variety.
- Harvest ripens quickly, in 110-115 days.
- The berries are very juicy, with a harmonious taste and high sugar content (21.3%).
- Productivity is from 3.5 to 5 kg per bush.
- The growth rate of the bushes is medium, the variety is self-pollinated.
- It has high frost resistance (-29 ° C), therefore, in the North Caucasus region it is often grown in non-covering culture.
- It has increased resistance to fungal diseases and immunity to phylloxera.
- One of the best varieties for making high-quality dry wines.
Video: Platovsky grape variety
Grapes harvest Early TSHA ripens very early, within 110–115 days. Grapes of this variety are not distinguished by their special sizes: on medium-sized bushes of medium weight, berries (about 2 g) are picked in medium-sized clusters (weight 75–90 g). Usually one bush gives about 3.5 kg of fruit. The flowers are bisexual, so there is no need for additional pollination. The variety has a low (at the level of 40-60%) resistance to fungal diseases and pests (affected by a spider mite). Frost resistance of grapes is regulated to -28 ° C. But given that the variety has a tolerance for cultivation in all regions of the Russian Federation, in the northern regions for the winter requires light shelter.
Due to the good taste of berries with the presence of pineapple aroma, the early TLCA variety is used as a universal variety, for fresh consumption and for processing into juices, compotes and wine
Grape varieties that successfully grow and bear fruit in Siberia are noteworthy: Pearls Saba, Rusven, Amirkhan, Aleshenkin, Arkady. And this is not a complete list of varieties that ripen in harsh climates with short summers and long, very cold winters. Today, grapes, which until recently were considered purely southern culture, firmly took their place in the areas of Siberian gardeners.
Video: features of frost-resistant varieties for Siberia
Given the specific conditions of Siberia, extra-early and early varieties are used for planting. Agricultural technology for growing grapes in this region has its own characteristics. Despite the high winter and frost resistance, bushes in winter can be damaged by frost. Therefore, grapes in Siberian conditions are grown either in trenches or on high ridges, with the obligatory warming of boles and roots. However, such extreme conditions have a positive side: neither diseases nor pests affect grapes. Therefore, no pesticides are required and the crop grows environmentally friendly. Most of these grape varieties have very tasty berries, fragrant and beautiful, gathered in large heavy clusters. Thanks to varietal characteristics, the vine has time to ripen and the grapes safely leave for the winter.
Non-covering grape varieties
Grape varieties, the main characteristic of which is very high frost resistance (up to -40ºС), are called non-covering or arbor. Most of these varieties are immune to mildew, oidium and gray rot. Berries are inferior in size and taste to the fruits of covering (European) varieties, but this drawback is offset by the ability to use bushes to shade arbors, rest corners. The main purpose of non-covering grape varieties is technical, for the production of wine and drinks.
Due to the intense coloring of berries and a high sugar content, high-quality wines are made from grapes of this variety
Saperavi Northern variety is technical and is mainly used in winemaking. The harvest ripens late, late September – early October. A distinctive feature of the variety is that the ripened brushes do not crumble within 20–25 days. The berries are very juicy, of high sugar content (17–20%), but small, weighing 0.8–1.2 g. The taste of the berries is a specific “isabile” taste, which is appreciated in the manufacture of wine. The clusters are small in size, on average, the weight of one brush is about 100 grams. Having bisexual flowers, the variety is self-pollinated. In the non-covering culture, the sleeves and vines of Saperavi Severny are able to withstand frosts down to -30ºС.
A pleasant strawberry tint in the taste of Alpha grapes and balanced acidity make it indispensable in the manufacture of dry wines
Alpha grapes are known as one of the best in winemaking. Small fruits of sour taste are collected in clusters of medium size and weight (up to 200 g). On tall bushes, the crop ripens 140-145 days after flowering. The variety is self-fertile, fungal diseases and pests are practically not damaged. High frost resistance up to -40 ° C allows you to grow grapes of this variety without shelter in the form of arches and arbors, for wall decoration. Even berries slightly grasped by a frost do not lose their taste and presentation.
Tallness and very good frost resistance combined with an interesting taste of berries make it possible to grow this grape both as a decoration for a gazebo and as a treat
The Dvietis zila grape variety has been selected in Latvia for regions with difficult weather conditions during the winter. The bushes are resistant to negative temperatures up to -40 ° C, while the root system of grapes withstands freezing of the soil to minus ten degrees. Although the berries of this grape are small, they have a very harmonious taste with an amazing strawberry aroma. Bunches of medium size with a mass of up to 150 grams mature in four months. The variety is distinguished by a productivity high enough for a non-covering crop - 10-15 kg of fruits are obtained from one bush. Good taste qualities of berries provide the variety Dvietis zila with versatility in use. Thanks to bisexual flowers, the bushes are self-pollinated and can be used for donor pollination of grapes with functionally female flowers of suitable mid-early varieties. Grapes are very slightly susceptible to damage by diseases and pests.
Video: review of varieties of non-covering winter-hardy grapes
Frost-resistant grape varieties in Ukraine
For cultivation in Ukraine, all frost-resistant varieties are used that have been successfully tested for the conditions of the middle zone of Russia and Belarus. The most famous grapes include Arcadia grapes, Saba Pearls, Bako, Kiev early, Platovsky, Muscat Delight, Agat Donskoy, Nadezhda AZOS and a number of other varieties. Most of these grapes of early and medium ripening grapes, self-pollinating, have a high yield in combination with the wonderful taste of berries. Resistant to fungal diseases and tolerate frosts well to -25-30 ° C.
Video: grape varieties for growing in the Kiev region
Technical grape varieties are very popular among many Ukrainian gardeners: Crystal, Lydia, Isabella, Gift of Magarach. Due to the rather mild climate in most regions of Ukraine, this grape is grown mainly in non-covering culture.
Video: Crystal Non-Covering Grapes
The climate of the eastern regions of Ukraine in weather conditions is most consistent with the climate of the North Caucasus region of Russia. This is a determining factor when choosing grape varieties for growing in these areas. Most often, varieties of early and medium ripening are cultivated here. Unstable winters of Donbass with frequent thaws, and sometimes severe frosts, dictate the need to use mainly covering varieties. Although non-covering varieties are successfully grown in wall culture.
Video: a review of early grape varieties in the Luhansk region
Our summer cottage is located in the Donetsk region. Our soils are good, fertile, but nature often shows its burrows. Then in April, the east wind will bring a dust storm, then snow in the middle of winter will practically melt, and then it will freeze during the day and everything is covered with ice. The soil on our site, although fertilized, but with a predominance of sand, therefore, during severe frosts it freezes deep enough. Especially hard in such conditions is the grape. If in the winter there was little snow and severe frosts hit, then its root system freezes. And in case of icing, the roots simply choke without air. We have a small vineyard; several bushes of Odessa souvenir, Arcadia and Agate Donsky grow. Agate is the most beloved among our family. Unpretentious in care, very productive, and resistant to grape sores. In addition to Agate, we cover all other bushes for the winter. And this grape perfectly tolerates Donetsk winters due to its high resistance to frost. But sometimes the roots suffer from freezing, the berries are smaller, the vines are poorly developed and the bushes have to recover for a long time. Four years ago, we decided to plant a couple more bushes of our favorite variety. In the gardening magazine I read how the famous wine-grower Yu.M. Chuguev grows grapes on high ridges. And she decided to conduct an experiment with her grapes. In the spring for planting, we dug a trench 4 m long and about 0.3–0.4 m deep. Several gravel buckets were poured on the bottom of the trench, compost was laid on top to the level of the trench and a layer of fertile soil with complex fertilizer. Saplings were planted in prepared pits (they were bought with a closed root system) and poured garden soil to a height of about 20 cm. The resulting elongated mound was mulched with humus. During the summer, they took care of the bushes, as usual for young grapes. They were carefully sheltered for the winter, and our “new settlers” wintered well. In general, the first three years after planting, we grew young grapes according to the classical system, with watering, cultivating, weeding weeds and shelter for the winter. And already in the third year he thanked us with good clusters. Last fall, we left Agate in a high bed without shelter. At the beginning of March this year, we went to our site to visit our pets. Judging by the state of the vine, the grapes overwintered perfectly. Although the winter of 2017 began late, at the end of December only the first snow fell. And during January-February there were several thaws, followed by freezing and the formation of an ice crust on the ground. So we can say that the experiment was a success and the method of growing grapes on a high bed in our conditions has proved its effectiveness.
Bako’s 2 bushes have been at work for many years, no one has been sheltering him, no one has been caring for him, and he has spontaneously grown and bears fruit every year. Only birds do not give him peace, but they will not eat any nasty things.Vladimir, city of Poltava
I am absolutely sure that the White Hybrid, Lyubava, Victoria, Moscow White, Agat Donskoy will winter without any loss. Much worse are Kesha and Muscat Muscat wintering, however, every year with a decent harvest. Delight freezes. Gift Zaporozhye looks much better. These are the results of decades of observation, there were winters and worse than the current one.Vladimir Timok1970, Ivano-Frankivsk region
I recommend Hybrid White to everyone. The taste is magnificent muscat, very sweet. The variety is resistant to cracking and decay. Frost-resistant -30. I grow 10 years and always a great result. The only drawback is the small berries. Of the new ones, Lyubava and Moscow White are very good. I have all of them uncovered in a mountainous region in the Carpathians 400 m above sea level. I think that throughout Ukraine you can grow without problems.Vladimir Timok1970 Ivano-Frankivsk region
A large selection of grape varieties with high frost resistance and good quality characteristics allows growers to grow this crop and develop new varieties even in regions with difficult climatic conditions.